The Annotated Hobbit

From Tolkien Gateway
The Annotated Hobbit
Annotated hobbit 1988.jpg
AuthorJ.R.R. Tolkien
EditorDouglas A. Anderson
Illustratorvarious artists
PublisherHoughton Mifflin (US)
Unwin Hyman (UK)
Released28 October 1988 (US)
1989 (UK)

The Annotated Hobbit is an edition of The Hobbit with commentaries by Douglas A. Anderson. It was first published in 1988 by Houghton Mifflin, Boston, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first American publication of The Hobbit, by Unwin Hyman, London.

This book includes many illustrations by Tolkien and others not appearing in the published The Hobbit, also reprints the original version of the "Gollum" chapter and several early Tolkien poems.


According to the editor, The Annotated Hobbit is a referenced novel where in the margins the "annotator adds commentary". The edition includes also more than 150 black-and-white illustrations from foreign editions and some that were drawn by Tolkien himself. This allows for breadth of understanding of The Hobbit, hence contributing to the overall understanding of Middle-earth.

Purpose of publication

The main purpose behind the publication of The Annotated Hobbit was to allow readers to understand "how Tolkien worked as a writer, what his influences and interests were, and how these relate to the invented world of Middle-earth." Moreover, this also allowed for the publication of rare poems written by Tolkien (several of which were previously unpublished). This may help the reader improve the understanding of the culture that surrounds The Hobbit and Middle-earth in general.

Revised edition[edit]

In 2002, a revised and expanded edition was published. This version included maps and colour paintings. It also provided newer sources and greater understanding of Tolkien's legendarium. Another British edition was published in 2003 by HarperCollins in London.[1]

This edition includes several more rare or previously unpublished poems and writings by J.R.R. Tolkien:

Publication history and gallery[edit]

First edition (Houghton Mifflin)  
First edition (Unwin Hyman)  
Revised edition  

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


A J.R.R. Tolkien book guide
Books by Tolkien or based on his writings
Of Arda Authorized by
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit · The Lord of the Rings
(i.The Fellowship of the Ring · ii.The Two Towers · iii.The Return of the King) ·
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil · The Road Goes Ever On · Bilbo's Last Song
Edited by Christopher Tolkien The Silmarillion · Unfinished Tales · The History of Middle-earth series
(i.The Book of Lost Tales: Part One · ii.The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two · iii.The Lays of Beleriand ·
iv.The Shaping of Middle-earth · v.The Lost Road and Other Writings · vi.The Return of the Shadow ·
vii.The Treason of Isengard · viii.The War of the Ring · ix.Sauron Defeated · x.Morgoth's Ring ·
xi.The War of the Jewels · xii.The Peoples of Middle-earth · Index) ·
The Children of Húrin · Beren and Lúthien · The Fall of Gondolin
Edited by others The Annotated Hobbit · The History of The Hobbit · The Nature of Middle-earth · The Fall of Númenor
Not of Arda Short stories
and poems
Leaf by Niggle · Farmer Giles of Ham · Smith of Wootton Major ·
Letters from Father Christmas · Mr. Bliss · Roverandom ·
Tree and Leaf (compilation) · Tales from the Perilous Realm (compilation)
Fiction works The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún · The Fall of Arthur · The Story of Kullervo · The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
Translations and academic works Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo · Finn and Hengest ·
Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary · The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays ·
Tolkien On Fairy-stories · A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages · The Battle of Maldon
Other The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Books by other authors
Reference books The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
Scholarly books with Tolkien's writings J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography · The Inklings · The Road to Middle-earth ·
A Question of Time · Tolkien and the Great War ·
The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion · The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide
Scholarly journals with Tolkien's writings Tolkien Studies various issues
Other published works by Tolkien
Linguistic journals Vinyar Tengwar issue 1-50 · Parma Eldalamberon issue 11-22
Collections of artwork
and manuscripts
Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien · Tolkien: Life and Legend · J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator ·
The Art of The Hobbit · The Art of The Lord of the Rings · Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth ·
Tolkien: Treasures · J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript
This list only includes the major published works, for the full bibliography of Tolkien, see here or here